""I dislike feeling at home when I am abroad"" claude-andre's Profile
As a traveller I like to go on my own and I use tours only when it is impossible or too uncomfortable to travel alone. When visiting a country I search a balance between top sites and less travelled ones. I like to walk in the streets of a town where there is nothing to see but people living and working there.
I also like the atmosphere of islands. They are often very quiet, more human in size and people living there have a good sense of their identity. Azores, Cape Verde and Vanuatu Archipelago are my top 3, probably because nature dominates and the mass tourism still ignores them.
Paradoxically, I like also what is wide like deserts, pampas and steppes. I found them in Oman, Argentina and Mongolia.
"Violent" landscapes are fascinating: volcanos, rocky mountains and jungles. I live very near Swiss Alps, dreamed in the middle of Andes, climbed the Stromboli and sweat in Malaysian jungles.
Arts and culture are a must. You find them everywhere and it's a gift.
Switzerland is my home country. I live in Oron-la-Ville near Lausanne (Lake of Geneva) in the French speaking part.
I live 650m over sea level. Until the end of the eighties, we had lot of snow, sometimes it lasted 3 months. Now, climate is changing and snow is scarce. About one week a season. You must climb the mountains to find it (around 1400m).
The day when I took the photograph, there was a snow storm. A great pleasure.
15 minutes drive and you reach the mountains. The first range before the Alps. They are not so high: less than 2000 m. There you can ski and enjoy all winter activities.
I don't travel often summertime. I like to spend hours reading, swimming, walking and meeting people at home. A bottle of Swiss red or white wine is on the table ready to be shared with friends or neighbors....ot VT members if they are travelling in the region.
How to meet people or understand a culture without knowing a little of their language?
To travel with pleasure, learning foreign languages was a necessity.
So I can understand and be understood with more or less facility and success in:
French - mother tongue
If knowing foreign languages is part of the travels, discovering new recipes and wines is probably as important. So a substantial amount of my budget - at home or by travelling - is dedicated to restaurants.
As my wife owns a vineyard in the Valais region (Switzerland) which produce a very good white wine - Petite Arvine - my cellar contains some interesting wines: mainly swiss, french and italian ones. My preferred grapes variety for red wine is Pinot noir.
I have a lot so I give only some of them:
Food: French, Italian and Chinese cooking. Some meals from Mideastern regions and Morocco...and, of course Swiss Raclette and Fondue (cheese meals)
White wines: Swiss ones
Red wines Swiss, French and Italian
Painting: I'm touched by many painters of very different periods and styles. Actually I'm interested in French painters from XVIII to XIX century:
Poussin, Watteau, Fragonard, Ingres, Boudin, Courbet, Corot, Delacroix.
For sure, it will change in the future.
Litterature: As a traveller, I like to read writers from the countries I intend to visit.
Cinema: 3rd World or low-budget films.
Music: jazz (mainly modern) and opera
People: Sense of humour, open-minded, imaginative, passionate.
Hobbies: Photography, reading, gardening, travelling, listening to music, skiing, walking and socializing
I don't have a lot:
Fast food and Coca Cola
Reality TV, series, soap operas
Hypocrisy, racism, extremism (political or religious), tolerance zero
4x4 cars in towns
Beaches with rows of sunshades
Shops for tourists, to be riped off by taxi drivers
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